The Pointpedro Magistrate’s Court has sentenced ten Indian fishermen who engaged in fishing activities in the island’s waters to a two-year suspended sentence.
The owner of the trawler was ordered to appear before the court on October 24 when the case will be recalled, and the court also ordered the vessel to be detained until then. This vessel is currently in the custody of the Navy on charges of illegal entry into Sri Lankan waters and fishing.
The fishermen and the vessel were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy on December 23. Magistrate Ponnathurai Krishanth ordered the police to hand over their personal belongings, which were taken into custody by the Navy.
Until formal measures are taken to repatriate the fishermen with suspended sentences, they are to be sent to the Immigration Detention Center in Mirihana.
In 2023, the Sri Lanka Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen and 35 trawlers for fishing in Sri Lankan waters.